Interpretational paradox, implicit normativity, and human nature : revisiting weakness of will from a perspective of comparative philosophy

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

4 Citations (Scopus)


This essay critiques or engages a wide range of existing works on the ancient and well-contested issue of weakness of will, from a new perspective of comparative philosophy combined with a focus on a largely neglected Davidsonian paradox of irrationality. It aims at revealing the interplay between the descriptive and the normative in the very notion of critical interpretation, as well as a special relation between holding-true and making-true which helps to explain the non-accidentalness of the descriptive coat of the Plato Principle and some of the Mencian paradigmatic tenets. By the same token, it also sheds light on some holistic picture about a certain implicit type of dynamic normativity, which seems evidently applicable to, for example, the Mencius-Xunzi 荀子 dispute on human nature, but scarcely noticed or articulated in contemporary contexts of comparative philosophy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-163
Number of pages19
JournalDao : A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
Issue number2
Early online date5 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017



  • Critical interpretation
  • Implicit normativity
  • Paradox of irrationality
  • Weakness of will

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